How to fill your skills gaps with free training programmes in 2023

April 14, 2023

Recent years have been tough on both employers and workers, with many facing challenges through long-term illness, incompatible skillsets, the economic climate, and of course, COVID. There is an abundance of talent that businesses are missing out on, but what can employees do to better their skills, and what can employers do to fill their skills gaps, and support their business and staff? 

Don’t worry, The Education and Skills Partnership (ESP) is here to help you. Let’s look at some of the funding streams available for employers to support their existing workforce or bring new talent on board, and employees to improve their skills. 

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Filling your skills gaps with free training programmes 

At The Education and Skills Partnership we are delivering training solutions together with employers who want to upskill their workers, and with employees looking to grow their skillsets.  

Two of these current programmes offer free training courses for companies and their employees. 


Free training programmes for employers 

The Education and Skills Partnership, with support from the European Social Fund (ESF), is providing 25 hours of FREE remote training courses for employers in specific postal codes in the South of England and Greater London areas until the end of 2023. These are aimed at self-employed and SME (small-medium-enterprises) businesses who often struggle with resources (both time and money) to hire and train the perfect applicant.  

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Coast to Capital and Bounce Back London to provide six different courses that will support small and medium businesses with training and development so they can retain and recruit quality talent and meet their business goals.” 

Graeme Tucker, Director Projects and Partnerships, ESP 

These programmes offer training, free of charge, in a variety of high-in-demand business skills. The 25 hours are broken down into 14 hours of online classroom study and 11 hours of independent study. Perhaps best of all is that there is absolutely no cost to the employer – ESP takes care of everything, and you don’t have to pay a penny.  Plus, you have the additional benefit of a professional coach helping you at every step. 

Available courses include: 

  • Coaching

  • Customer Service

  • Leadership & Management

  • Project Management

  • Teacher/Trainer

  • Digital Marketing

Check out individual course descriptions for more information on what to expect for each specialty.   

The Coast to Capital programme is for self-employed or small medium enterprises (SMEs) operating in specific postal codes with the regions of Greater Brighton, West Sussex, and East Surrey.  

The Bounce Back London programme supports SMEs in the Greater London region (within the M25). 

Eligible applicants must be self-employed or employed by a small or medium enterprise with 1-249 employees, be based in the eligible area for funding, and not have used over £200k of ESF funding within the past 12 months. 


Why your business should consider investing in a training programme 

Funded training programmes like Bounce Back London or Coast to Capital offer workers a chance to further their career with new and improved skills. Not only will they gain invaluable knowledge relevant to their profession, but they will also gain confidence in their ability to do their job.  


Business-led recruitment programmes 

One good option for businesses looking to recruit a large number of people and are struggling to find the right skill sets, is to set up Sector-based Work Academies Programmes (SWAP), which are supported through the Department for Work and Pensions. With this business-led programme, we work with companies to develop a training plan that responds to specific requirements, delivers the training, and as the employer, you benefit from a group of new starters ready and trained in a skill you need. 

If you are an employer striving to fill roles with skilled and qualified workers, a training programme might be the answer for you. These kinds of programmes foster loyalty in workers, a major benefit for businesses. Plus, they can help to fill skills gaps in your organisation. There’s a whole untapped talent pool with diverse experiences, views and knowledge that can add value and a different perspective to your business – so don’t miss out on a whole demographic! 

How The Education and Skills Partnership can help  

With a wealth of options, we can help your company to provide the best opportunities for your workforce. So if your business faces unique talent challenges, take a look at the free courses on offer – it’s simple, quick, and easy to get your staff up and running, gaining vital CPD credits. 

Contact us today for a free, no obligation consultation 

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